What are legionella?
Legionella are rod-shaped bacteria living in water. They mainly multiply in warm and hot water systems as well as in cold water pipes above 25°C.
Legionella are sources of infection that pose a health hazard, with symptoms in humans ranging from flu-like illnesses to severe pneumonia. In Germany alone, tens of thousands of people fall ill and die from them every year.
To this day, outbreaks and diseases caused by legionella cannot be efficiently prevented because guidelines and directives are no longer up to date.
Studies have shown that legionella does not as previously assumed develop at a low temperature of 45 °C; but rather multiplies particularly rapidly in the high temperature range of 50 °C to 60 °C. Contrary to common belief, legionella does not die at high temperatures either, but instead, it enters into a kind of 'stiffness' and simply does not reproduce any further.
According to studies, legionella survive temperatures up to 120 °C.